6 Ways to Improve Your Plastic Surgery Recovery
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Is plastic surgery in your future? Or, are you caring for a surgery patient?
If so, you might be interested to know what you can do to help yourself or your loved one heal the fastest, get to the gym at the earliest, or return to work quickly.
Although you might have a profound “need for speed,” remember that how you heal and recover matters too, and returning to activities too soon can backfire.
A great place for starting your recovery journey is by following your discharge instructions to the letter. Carefully read them and ensure that you understand them precisely.
After that, keep the following items in mind.
1. Prevent Infection
Even though infection is not to be expected, it is the most common complication experienced with plastic surgery procedures.
To have a great result from your surgery procedure, preventing infection is critical. Washing and sanitizing your hands before touching the incision is a good place to begin. It is among the most important and easiest things to do when nursing the cut in the recovery period.
Surgical site infections usually are rare but are likely to arise within thirty days of the surgery. It is worth inquiring from your doctor about what you can do to ensure your incisions and tissues remain healthy.
2. Inspect Your Incision
Although looking at your incision might not be among your favorite things, it is critical that you have a good look at the condition of the incision several times daily.
Is the cut red or pink? Does the incision have wound drainage, and if any, what’s its color? Are the staples or stitches intact?
All these are vital questions, and routine inspection of the incision helps determine whether the surgical site is properly healing or has suffered an infection.
If you notice something off, contact your physician immediately.
3. Care for Your Incisions
In addition to inspecting your incision, you also have to care for it.
Many people go overboard in the efforts to keep the surgical wound clean. They want to scrub the incision and clear any scabs surrounding it. Or they use peroxide or alcohol to keep the area germ-free. Unless your physician instructs you otherwise, gently washing the incision with soap and water is enough (and other efforts can cause more harm than good).
Though it might seem unsightly, scabbing around the stitches and surgical staples is normal and healthy, and removing them might slow the healing process. Additionally, soaking the incision could be harmful, making the incision line weak.
Most surgeons recommend showers rather than baths after surgery and often advise against swimming in the early days of recovery.
Consult with your physician for extra or special instructions.
4. Follow All the Instructions Provided by Your Physician
Plastic surgeons have learned a lot from post-surgery patients that follow some instructions and ignore the rest. There is always a reason for the post-op instructions. They are not given to you to waste your time. Instead, they are necessary aspects of the surgical process — given to promote a safe and healthy recovery.
While you may feel like some instructions cramp your lifestyle, like being informed not to take a swim, lift heavy objects, bath, or hit the gym for weeks after the surgery, these instructions are in your best interest.
5. Keep the Follow-Up Appointments
Unfortunately, most patients don’t keep all their doctor’s requests for follow-up appointments.
When your wound is healing properly, and you feel good, keeping a doctor’s follow-up appointment might seem an unnecessary waste of time or expense. However, this misguided opinion can prove detrimental down the line.
During the follow-up visit, your surgeon needs to see how you feel and how the incision is healing. They also check for additional issues or things that you might not be privy to, like signs of an infection.
Therefore, do not skip the follow-up appointments for any reason.
6. Get Moving
One of the vital things you can do after just having surgery to hasten your recovery is walking. Taking a walk around your house after every hour or two helps prevent complications such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pneumonia.
Taking a walk is a way of gently returning to physical activity. Gentle walking will help you return to normal activities but listen to your surgeon’s advice on when to begin walking around your yard or neighborhood.
Your surgeon will let you know when you can return to more intense activities. This timeframe will vary depending on the surgery that you underwent. For instance, you will need to take more time away from your exercise routine after tummy tuck surgery than you would after breast augmentation or liposuction surgery.
Interested in Learning More?
To learn more about your recovery period, contact Dr. Alexander and his team in Las Vegas, Nevada.